New PDF release: A Handbook of Middle English Studies (Critical Theory

By Marion Turner

ISBN-10: 0470655380

ISBN-13: 9780470655382

'A instruction manual of heart English Studies' offers a sequence of unique essays from prime literary students that discover the connection among severe idea and overdue medieval literature.

• comprises 26 new essays through prime students of overdue medieval literature
• units the recent normal for an creation to the examine of overdue medieval literature
• Showcases the most up-tp-date state of the art theoretical research
• Demonstrates various ways to past due medieval literature
• Brings jointly serious thought and medieval literature

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Extra info for A Handbook of Middle English Studies (Critical Theory Handbooks)

Example text

Ethics and Conduct A trained memory was furthermore central to individual ethics, and bound the individual to his or her wider community (family, religious identity, social or national identity) through such mnemonic structures as genealogies, monuments, or social and religious rituals. Custom, tradition, precedent: these were powerful mnemonic modes that are evident in a wide range of medieval literary productions. In a tradition that had its roots more firmly in Platonic thought, the natural faculty of human memory was seen as a reflection, or remnant, of ‘‘the divine origins of our soul’’ (Richards 21).

The concluding section of the poem offers a moralized reading of the preceding narrative, in which Orpheus and Eurydice come to model human cognitive and emotional processes. Here, Orpheus represents ‘‘the pairte intellective/ Of manis saule and understanding’’ (ll. 428–429), while Eurydice is ‘‘oure effectioun,’’ which is ‘‘oft movit up and doun’’ (ll. 431–432) between reason and ‘‘the flesche’’ (ll. 433–434) by ‘‘fantesy’’ (l. 431). The narrative is revealed to be about the precarious harmony between reason and desire, destroyed by emotionally charged memories that lead to a forgetting of reason’s own proper condition.

The Historical Imagination The semantic range of ‘‘perfection’’ includes topics of forming, making, and completing. Particularly in its medieval uses, it evokes craftsmanship and creativity. In Exodus 25, the work of consecrating, creating holiness, making sacrifice acceptable, hence bridging the human and the divine, takes the form of a finely crafted enclosure, the ark: ‘‘thou schalt make on euer eithir side of Goddis answeryng place twei cherubyns of gold, and betun out with hamer’’ (Wycliffite Bible).

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A Handbook of Middle English Studies (Critical Theory Handbooks) by Marion Turner


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